"Whatever grade you are, volunteer your time to participate with the Institution." #WeAreCIBSE

The #WeAreCIBSE campaign aims to celebrate the individuals and groups who collectively make up our Institution and keep it running. In this new blog series, we speak to members who are going above and beyond to give back to the building services community through their work with CIBSE. In this blog, we hear from Alan Lawrence CEng MCIBSE who sits on CIBSE’s Inclusivity and Diversity Panel.

Tell us about yourself and your career?

I am a Consultant Engineer for Savills, a global Real Estate property adviser based in London, providing Engineering term consultancy advice and project management to Commercial and Retail properties across the UK. In my 30 years plus experience in the Built Environment sector. I have worked in a range of areas including Manufacturing, Design, Fast Moving Consumer Foods, Education, Healthcare, Private Finance Initiatives and Facilities Management.

What do you do at CIBSE?

I decided to seek a role at CIBSE as a part of my Business Performance Development Review. I wanted to obtain more exposure with peers who were external to my workplace and an ideal way of doing this was to sit on one of CIBSE’s many panels and committees.

I am a recent joiner to the CIBSE Inclusivity & Diversity Panel. Currently, I am trying to find my feet as in any new role, with reviewing the history of the panel and its objectives. Monthly meetings are currently being conducted via video conferencing due to the COVID-19. As with any project, sub-tasks will be allocated to panel members to drive forward, based upon their individual skillset. This can be challenging as it will extend your range of skills, no different to any new role or project.

What is the most rewarding thing about your role with CIBSE so far?

The feeling of giving back and contributing to the continued development of the Institution. As with the IEng or CEng application process, it allows you to focus your mind and skills strategically.

We are all aware of the pressures on our society as a result of the skills shortage in our sector. This issue is driving up costs and creates a barrier for establishing processes to facilitate a more representative workforce within the industry. 50% of our society are underrepresented in our industry, but there are so many commercial and societal benefits that D&I (Diversity & Inclusivity) would bring. It is a no brainer, that if we improve D&I, then we would strengthen our society for the better.

Through developing the wider Institution, I will be developing myself and my own business which in turn will help with career progression in the long run.

What advice would you give to someone looking to get more involved?

I would thoroughly recommend that all members, whatever grade you are, volunteer your time to participate with the Institution.

With 20,000 members, if every member could donate four hours of their time a month, then there would be the equivalent of 42 full-time members with a wide range of expertise and qualifications. This is an output worth millions of pounds, which is a frightening and wonderful potential.

We should remember to not just rely on others to contribute to CIBSE’s first-class output month in and out. Giving four to six hours per month equates to a night out with family and friends, or the proportion of free overtime at work.

You will reap the rewards personally with your career progression, as well as benefiting your business through your involvement in wider issues affecting the industry. 

Interested in taking on a voluntary role with CIBSE? Find out how to get involved


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